Economist predicts improved 2011 for area

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's hard to know exactly what the future holds when it comes to the local economy, but now we have an idea.

This morning, the 19th Annual Economic Forecast took place at the Wilmington Hilton Riverside.

UNCW economist Dr. Woody Hall believes overall we'll do better than we did in 2010. He forecasts a three-percent growth in personal income.

Other sectors that will see improvement: Healthcare, education and the retail trade. But when it comes to construction, Hall doesn't think it's bottomed out yet.

"It may take a little longer for construction to come back, because we had a substantial amount of excess inventory that needs to be eliminated before, at least with respect to residential construction, before it becomes profitable to do so," Hall said.

Dr. Hall thinks the construction industry will continue to lag behind for about a year to a year and a half. Overall he says we're not going to see healthy economic growth until we see healthy growth in employment.

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